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A Taste of New Jersey: Disco Fries, Tomatoes and Pork Roll

Need some recipe ideas? Get some inspiration from the places to which SI Swimsuit has traveled.

Since we are all working from our couches, sitting in our PJs and snacking on whatever pantry staples we have left, some creative culinary inspiration may be needed. We here at SI Swimsuit are fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the world, taste local cuisines, sample delicious cocktails and spirits made famous by the regions we have visited and open our palettes to all the amazing flavors the world has to offer. I love nothing more than traveling to a locale and learning all about the regional cuisines and how to make them. Let’s take a look back at some of the places SI Swimsuit has traveled to and revisit the delicacies and drinks we have sampled along the way with some recipes to help you create them.

Last week we journeyed to Seville. Now let’s head across the Atlantic to good old New Jersey. As a Jersey native, I grew up at the real Jersey Shore (that TV show is a joke and not what it’s like for locals) and have eaten some of the best food on earth there. Post-Hurricane Sandy, in 2014 SI Swimsuit shot at the Jersey Shore (Cape May, Seaside, Island Beach State Park, etc) and highlighted the recovery efforts of this amazing state. The crew sampled some boardwalk delicacies and got a taste of the real N.J. This may not be the healthiest recipe batch we’ve featured in this series, but sometimes you need some comfort food to make you think of home.

Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese - This is a New Jersey sandwich and the first thing I eat when I go to a bagel shop. When I see pork roll in big letters on a menu, I know I am home sweet home. It’s a delicious, salty meat similar to bologna or Spam and is part of a balanced N.J. breakfast: pork roll, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll. While you may not have a flat top in your home, you can recreate it to the best of your ability on your stove. Most respectable Jersey folk will use a hard kaiser roll as the base for this sandwich, but if that’s not your style, a bagel or English muffin will do! Just make sure you get this pork roll -- without it, it won’t be the same.

Photo courtesy of Serious Eats

Photo courtesy of Serious Eats

Disco Fries - A diner classic. This N.J. delicacy is similar to poutine but different. You get gooey, stringy, warm mozzarella cheese with every bite as well as a delicious topping of gravy. These are easy to whip up in your own kitchen, whether you use fresh potatoes or frozen ones as long as you have the three key ingredients (brown gravy, mozzarella and potatoes). Follow this recipe and get the NJ diner experience at home (sans jukebox).

Photo courtesy of Parsnips & Pastries

Photo courtesy of Parsnips & Pastries

Bloody Mary - New Jersey is FAMOUS for their tomatoes and there is nothing better than going to a farmers’ market in the summer, stocking up and making a fresh panzanella salad or a tomato/mozzarella dish. Sometimes you just need a cocktail to pair with your pork roll, egg and cheese breakfast, and what better way to start a summer weekend than with a Bloody Mary made with fresh Jersey tomatoes (if you don’t have access to Jersey tomatoes any kind will do). It’s the perfect brunch beverage & this is my go-to recipe, just make your own tomato juice!

Photo courtesy of Food Network

Photo courtesy of Food Network